QEA prepares for 1st game ever

Photo by Alphonso Abbott Jr.

QEA prepares for 1st game ever
August 23
04:00 2018

Quality Education Academy (QEA) is eagerly preparing for their first ever football game, which will be against North Wake High School at Carver High School stadium this Saturday, Aug. 25, at 5:30 p.m.  The Pharaoh’s players had their first padded practice of the year last Thursday as they attempt to iron out the wrinkles before game day.

The Pharaoh’s are attempting to duplicate, on the football field, the same success the basketball team has enjoyed for years on the hardwood.  Head coach Antonio Stevenson says they began their campaign with only four players but now have over 20.  They are expecting more players to come out for the team once the school holds its open house.

Stevenson says with the athletes they already have at their disposal, adding 15 more players would put him exactly where he wants to be in year one.  With the team he already has in place, Stevenson is confident heading into week one of the year.

“Administration has given me so much help, guidance and push in the right direction, I have not had any problems getting players out here,” he said.  “What I have been concentrating on is turning what I have into what I want.”

“I have a couple of leaders out here and a couple of guys who are trying to figure out what they want to be.  I just want us to come out here with a tough spirit and win.”

QEA only announced plans for a football team a few short months ago.  Stevenson says he was surprised by the number of kids who wanted to attend the school once the announcement was made.

“A lot of these guys came from traditionally winning programs from across the city and they are happy to be here,” said Stevenson.  “I had a few kids contact me saying they wanted to come play for me, but once I told them about the dress code they said they did not want to do that, so I just told them ‘I understand, good luck where you are.’”

The male students at QEA wear suits every day to class.  Stevenson says he received generous donations from Cedric Russell and Bobby Kimbrough to help the young men with their dress code needs.

“They have donated suits, socks and shoes to the kids because they wanted to help and the kids wanted to play that badly,” said Stevenson. 

According to Stevenson, the Pharaohs will keep it simple, as far as the game plan is concerned, heading into the first game.  He says they will run the offensive and defensive schemes they have been implementing all summer.

“We are going to run the plays we know how to run and not try to reinvent the wheel,” he says.  “We won’t be running any trick plays; we will just line up and play smash mouth football.  I have been telling my guys that winning isn’t everything.  I want to win, but I don’t want to win and have guys acting out on the field cursing and such.

“We are going to go out and win or lose with pride and respect.  My guys have been here all summer working when most kids are enjoying their summer,” Stevenson said. 

Stevenson does not want to have his players concerned with the small number of teammates they have at this current time.  He says he told his players when he was in high school, his Carver team was almost defeated by a small school with only 20 players, so everyone has a chance on any given night.Stevenson says he will be happy Saturday if his players line up correctly and just play hard.

“If my guys go out and play tough and play hard and do some of the things that we have gone over in practice a million times, I’ll be happy,” he continued.  “Half of our team has never played football before.  We want them to enjoy the opportunity to play football but understand that it all starts in the classroom.”

Stevenson wanted to give a special thanks to Carol Montague-Davis and Daniel Piggott for allowing QEA to use Carver High School’s stadium for their home games.  Isaac Pitts, QEA athletic director, says he would love to have the community come out to support the young men on the field.

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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